There’s nothing like a snow storm to make you crave hot soup and crusty bread. Dave loves French Onion Soup and we had never made it from scratch before. We bought the bowls a couple years ago and this was the first time they were used for their intended purpose! I am frequently inspired by the recipes posted daily by the NY Times Cooking team. This recipe is based on one posted by Melissa Clark. Melissa’s recipe gives directions to avoid broiling individual servings, with the pre-made cheesy crouton added after the soup is spooned into individual bowls. Great for a crowd and also useful if you do not have broiler proof bowls! I like to dish up the soup and place it under the broiler, the old fashioned way. As always, it’s nice to have a choice.
For the Soup
adapted from this recipe
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
4 pounds total combination of beef bones and beef shoulder
32 ounces of good quality beef stock
32 ounces of water
1 medium onion roughly chopped
4 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
4 medium carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves
8 thyme sprigs
6 medium onions, sliced in half and then thinly sliced
1 stick unsalted butter – 8 ounces
1/2 cup port wine
6 ounces baguette loaf, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
8 ounces Gruyère cheese
Brown the meat and bones in a few tablespoons of olive oil, over medium heat in a heavy soup pot. Season both sides of meat generously with salt and pepper.
Once the meat and bones have been browned on both sides, set aside. If needed, add a little more olive oil to the pot. Add the rough chopped onion, carrot and celery and sauté until the vegetables are softened…about 10 minutes. Add the thyme sprigs and the bay leaves. Add the meat back into the pot. Add the stock and the water. Bring to a simmer and cook approximately 2 hours.
While the stock is simmer, prepare the onions. Slice the onions in half through the root end, and then thinly slice each half.
Set a second, heavy soup pot on the stove over medium heat. Melt the butter slowly in the pot. Add the sliced onions, and slowly caramelize them. Do not turn the heat up too high and do check / stir them frequently. It will take 45-60 minutes for them to caramelize completely. When completely carmelized, add the Port wine and season with salt and pepper.
When the stock has finished cooking, strain the liquid into the pot with the onions. You can reserve the meat for another use, or change it up a bit and add it to the onions and broth. We found this to be delicious and made the soup into a heartier main course.
Keep the soup warm, over low heat.
Slice the baguette bread into a thick slice, one for each serving. Ladle the soup into the serving bowl. Place a slice of cheese on the bread, place the bread on top of the soup. Add additional grated cheese to cover. Place under the broiler for 4-5 minutes until the cheese is brown and bubbly. Garnish with a few thyme leaves. Enjoy!
Thank you for stopping by. Have a wonderful evening!